EP 14: Why a Morning Routine is the Easiest Way to Make a Big Change in Your Life and Business

Aloha and welcome to another episode of the Photo Business Help Podcast. This is episode 14! I just got off a plane not too long ago, flying from San Diego to Austin, TX. I was shooting some branding stuff at a software conference in Carlsbad. My partner and I were graciously put up for free, which was cool since it was a super nice hotel. I definitely was straight in the water jet tub night number one.

natalie jennings with guitar

This next leg of the journey should be interesting: going to try and find a home in Austin.

I’ve been living on the road for nearly 3 years…literally out of a suitcase, renting furnished sublets, staying with friends & family, and traveling. It feels like time to make a home base a reality. I love my itinerant lifestyle, but there are positives and negatives to all situations and I’m ready for a change.

So, we’ll see what happens! A large majority of my client base lives in the Midwest, where I started Jennings Photo, and most of my family is there, too. So I’ll be scheduling shoots as I always have and making time to head back to MN often.

Plus, I became an auntie for the first time this winter, so I have another great reason to venture back to MN.

If you’re new to the show, welcome! I’m your host, and I’ll do my best to keep these episodes an average of 10 minutes long so you can take in some new knowledge, absorb and implement it. More on that process later.

Before we dive deeper on today’s topic, I’d like to tell you about the BUNDLE.

If you’ve listened to other episodes of this show, you’ve probably heard me call out different free resources you can download that help walk you through some of the things we’ve covered.

Since you’re busy, I wanted to give you an easy way to get all of the latest downloads, up to this point. Funny thing, the URL won’t change, so if you’re listening to this episode (number 14) waaaay down the road, chances are you’ll get goodies from future episodes then, too. Kind of time travely, and awesome. Time isn’t really linear anyways, right? Different conversation. 

Go to to get your free bag of goodies from all of the previous episodes. for all of the free goodies from past episodes all in one place.

One more

episode fourteen of the Photo Business Help Podcast with Natalie Jennings
The Easiest Way to Change Your Life

What do you do first thing in the morning? 

High performing folks like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington swear by their morning routines, and I definitely do, too.

I took a trip down to Texas a few years ago and stayed with a friend for a couple of days. She recommended a book that, cliche as it sounds, changed my life. And in a really big way. The book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, walks you through the benefits of a morning routine, why committing to it, or anything, is a challenge, and how to do it.

I took notes and started small with a 30 minute outline that included meditation, intentions, and moving my body a little bit. Not full-on work out, but stretching and hydrating and nourishing before the coffee.

Over time, and because of my lifestyle (no kids, no commute) my routine evolved into a 90-minute thing I loved to look forward to. BUT even if you have a big family and a busy morning, Hal offers ideas and ways that anyone can incorporate this life-changing magic into their lives.

But the thing is: why is this important?

What benefits does a morning routine offer you?

Here are 5 reasons (there are more, but I’ll start here) to start incorporating a morning routine into your life:

  1. This one is a bit more subjective, but a morning routine sets the tone for your whole day. I helps you to slow down and pay attention, be present. This helps tremendously with thoughtful actions rather than reactivity. Even 3 minutes of focused breath work can calm your mind enough to elevate—or stabilize—your mood as you step into your day. This is from my own experience, and is prolifically written about if you just use the Google.
  2. Okay, reason number two from Elite Daily Gloria Mitchell, a life coach and host of the podcast Living a Phenomenal Life, tells Elite Daily that establishing a fulfilling morning routine can benefit you mentally, physically, and even spiritually. A morning routine means “being in control of your day instead of your day controlling you,” Mitchell explains I love this, and was a little shocked when I did some self reflection: so many of us, myself included, seem to default to this weird victim mode instead of recognizing our own power. Like, I spilled coffee on my shirt, traffic sucked, and the weather is bad. We spout shit all day long like this, often like zombie robots without even realizing we are doing so. With a routine comes mindset and intention. With practice—and I’ve noticed things change in my life leaps and bounds—you start to hear that skipping record of commentary as it’s coming out of your mouth, and because you’re aware of it, you change it. Before the complaint about traffic, you might, for instance, be excited to have an extra 10 minutes to finish your fave podcast. It works. 
  3. Repetition is how we learn everything, and positivity & groundedness are included in this, too. Learning a language, instrument, skill, etc. Almost everything we do well is because we’ve done it a bajillion times before. This typically sounds daunting to people, like, damn, it’s going to take me AGES to get there. Right, but where exactly is “THERE”? If you can start, start small and enjoy the little moments where you notice a positive change in your life on a daily or weekly or monthly basis, you’ll actually ENJOY the process more. And guess what? You’ll also realize there isn’t actually a THERE…it’s about getting better every day. Full stop. For example, I add my Spanish language practice to my routine and even though it’s sometimes only 5 minutes, I can easily track progress when I look back over a few months or a year. It’s not about shortcuts, it’s about enjoying the process, slowing down, and being intentional every single day.
  4. You really get shit done when you add a routine to things. It allows space for you to devote to that thing–or things–that are on your personal development to-do list that always get swept aside. Again, like the Spanish thing for me. It’s a wonderful way to put yourself first, even if only for a few minutes, and move forward with personal goals. 
  5. One of main byproducts of this routine thing is a healthier mind, body, and spirit. It seriously works. Because of the meditation I’m more grounded and intentional. Because of the intentions I make for the day, I make waaay better choices because I revisit where I want to be and what’s important to me so it’s easier to put on the running shoes or say no to a toxic conversation and excuse myself. 

So those are 5 reasons to start incorporating a morning routine into your life, and I’ll review them quick:

One, it sets the tone for your whole day. Two, it reminds you that you’re in control of your attitude and life and to quiet the victim voice. Three, it allows you time to learn new things that take repetition. Four, you get more things done that you want to get done. And five, you become healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

We make choices all day that are out of alignment with where we want to be. Self sabotage is innate, unfortunately, and it’s often because we forget where we really want to go if we don’t revisit our goals regularly. Doing so at least once a day is a life-changing habit.

One of my favorite things about a morning routine is reviewing my intentions. Have you ever watched a movie or a show that really strikes a chord in your heart somewhere? Something that inspires you or triggers something for you like wanting to learn how to cook or maybe taking a bike trip across a long distance, etc.? We are all triggered by things that align with who we are as individuals, but do you know what usually happens? 

We watch Chef’s Table, order a bunch of cooking supplies, and decide we’re going to do this thing. And we do, for a week or two. Then what? Life takes over. Notice that with any other time in life…like New Year’s resolutions? According to Darren Beattie, a fitness coach: “80% of the New Years Resolutions crowd drops off by the second week of February. Meaning only 20% remain, and the rate of sign-ups tapers off by February (almost all of that initial spike, save for maybe 1-2% of total volume for the year.)” -Quora

So why do we do this?

Because life is a ride and new things pop up all the time. New inspirations, moods, circumstances. If we lose our focus we get pulled along by the current. And I love that about life: not knowing what’s around the corner. I think it’s exciting. But a morning routine as helped me SO MUCH when it comes to remembering why I’m working at certain things, whether they are work goals, health, finance, or learning something new.

If you feel a little frazzled all the time, or you can’t seem to reach the goals you’ve had since forever, or you feel pulled in a million directions, I recommend giving this morning routine a try. Start with the book: The Miracle Morning and see how it feels. Hal also includes shortcuts for mornings when we’re really pressed for time. But even a few minutes can be a game-changer.

You guys know I have an affiliate link for amazon–where I get a tiny kickback if you buy something with it–and so I’ve made sure to make one for this show that’s super easy. Go to and you’ll find a link to Hal’s book the miracle morning which has everything you need to get you started. 

If you’re ready to do this, I’m here to answer any questions, too. To get started, head to and order the book. I’m not even affiliated with Hal at all, I just love the damn book and I know someone listening needs to hear this. It’s a quick read, but powerful. So

Also, tune in to the next episode of the PBH where I walk you through my routine and tell you a little more about what I love and struggle with when it comes to my own goals. That’s next time on this podcast.

Thanks so much for listening, and remember, in all that you want to achieve, consistency is key.

Love & light beautiful people.

One more time, if you’re into doing this thing, head to


ORDER THE BOOK: The Miracle Morning



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